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Remember back when most drivers hated the idea of hybrid vehicles? Ah, how the tables have turned. Drivers may not generally be as keen on fully electric vehicles, but opinions on hybrids have changed drastically over the last five years. Why? Probably because drivers are producing more competitive options than ever before. There are plenty of affordable hybrid options as well. The cheapest small hybrid SUV is especially affordable. Here’s what’s wrong with it and why you should get one anyway.

Everything wrong with the Kia Sportage Hybrid

  • Real-world fuel economy differs from estimates
  • Not as fun to drive as some rivals
  • Handling isn’t as engaging as some competitors
  • Barebones base model

Hyundai Motor Company and its Kia brand produce the most affordable subcompact hybrid SUV and the cheapest small hybrid SUV. The Kia Niro and Kia Sportage stand out because of their affordability.

The Sportage’s recent redesign makes it even more desirable. The question is, does the small hybrid SUV provide adequate value for the money?

2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid specs

Starting MSRP Engine/Power OutputEstimated MPG
$27,49016-Liter Turbocharged Four-Cylinder+electric motor,
226 Horsepower/258 LB-FT Torque
42 City/ 44 Highway (FWD)
38 City/38 Highway (AWD)
2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid specs.

On paper, the cheapest small hybrid SUV is a dream. It produces more power than its gas predecessor. It’s also much more efficient. The reality is sobering.

Reviewers have found that the Sportage Hybrid’s gas mileage estimates aren’t as dramatic as 43 miles per gallon combined for the front-wheel drive model. Still, give or take a few miles per gallon, the Hybrid remains a welcome alternative to thirstier non-hybrid small SUVs. Its power boost is a happy byproduct of the inclusion of an electric motor in its powertrain system.

Rivals may have more to offer when it comes to driving dynamics, but the Sportage Hybrid remains competitive. In fact, it’s the best in its segment in the eyes of some consumers.

Why a 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid is worth it

A blue 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid small hybrid SUV is driving on the road.
The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid | Kia

So, we’ve poked at the Sportage Hybrid’s sore points, but what about its strengths? For starters, it’s cheaper than models like the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Honda CR-V Hybrid. Additionally, the Sportage Hybrid doesn’t sacrifice power or efficiency for affordability. It’s well-balanced, and that’s exactly what many drivers are looking for.

If you’re looking for acceleration that knocks your socks off or sports car-like handling, you’ll probably pass on the Sportage Hybrid. If you value affordability and efficiency in a small family SUV more than other qualities, look no further.

The Sportage Hybrid comes in three configurations: LX, EX, and SX-Prestige. While the base model LX’s starting price is tempting, the best trim for the money is the EX. The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid EX comes with great standard features like a wireless phone charger, SynTex seating trim with heated front seats, and heated side mirrors with LED turn signals. Additionally, it comes with all-wheel drive. Not bad for $31,190.

Overall, the Sportage Hybrid provides great value for the money for many consumers. Is it the best hybrid SUV of all time, thanks to its affordable starting price?


The Cheapest Small Hybrid SUV Is Also the Most Reliable